GRANT & TRAINING PROGRAMME

Grant i training

IN ORDER TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION OF SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN THE WESTERN BALKANS AND BECOME RECOGNIZABLE BY DECISION MAKERS AND CITIZENS, CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS MUST BE BUILT, EMPOWERED AND INTERCONNECTED.


Therefore, within the project "Sustainable Agriculture for Sustainable Balkans: Strengthening advocacy capacities of CSOs and developing policies in the Western Balkans", more than EUR 300,000 has been invested in strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations in the Western Balkans through the Grant &Training Programme.

The aim of our Programme is to provide training, coaching and financial support to civil society organizations in the Western Balkans to implement successful, visible, participative, effective and innovative advocacy projects in the field of sustainable agriculture. Projects should clearly and credibly represent the importance and relevance of sustainable agriculture to decision-makers, citizens, and other stakeholders.

The programme has been developed in accordance with the ORCA Granting Policy and consists of three components:


  • Training of selected CSOs for organizational development, organization management and advocacy/li>
  • Providing support (coaching) in the process of drafting project proposals in the field of sustainable agriculture
  • Granting of 10 best project proposals aimed at advocacy in the field of sustainable agriculture

In order to participate in the Programme, civil society organizations from Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo* were invited, during September 2016 to submit their project ideas aimed at advocacy in the areas of sustainable agriculture . An independent three-member commission was trying to recognize those project ideas that had the potential to develop into effective advocacy campaigns in the field of sustainable agriculture in the further process of developing the full project proposal. The CSOs selected for the Programme are listed in the table view.


  • 114 leading and 169 partner organizations included in 114 project ideas submitted for participation in the Programme
  • 48 leading and 173 partner organizations included in the first component of the Programme - training for civil society organizations.
  • 10 leading and 27 partner organizations were selected for the financing component.
  • 10 experts werehired for training, coaching and evaluation of civil society organizations project proposals
  • more than € 300,000 has been invested in strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations in the Western Balkans

TRAINING

The first component of the Programme: Training of civil society organizations for organizational development, organizationalmanagement, and advocacy was held in November and December 2016 for all 48 organizations selected in the competition.

Three groups of participants attended the same training programme at three locations: in Kragujevac, Skopje, and Zrenjanin.

In four days, organizations were able to learn and apply knowledge about internal governance, structure, strategic long-term organizational planning, how to use research to underpin their activities, how to effectively communicate their results to the desired audience, how to monitor and evaluate results and the impact of their activities.

COACHING

After the implementation of the first component of the Programme: Training of civil society organizations for organizational development, organizationalmanagement, and advocacy, a competition was opened inviting all 48 organizations participating in the Programme to submit their full project proposals in the field of sustainable agriculture for financing.

In the process of drafting project proposals, organizations were provided with expert support (coaching) within the second component of the Programme. In the period from January to March 2017, experts in the field of writing project proposals worked with each organization individually to improve their project proposals and develop skills in the field of writing project proposals including the narrative and calculating project budget.

FINANCING

The 10 best proposals aimed at advocacy in the field of sustainable agriculture were selected for the financing component, namely 3 from Serbia, 2 from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 3 from Albania and 2 from Montenegro, which included a total of 10 leading and 27 partner organizations. A list of selected projects and organizations is available in the table view. Organizations are listed in alphabetical order.

Project proposals were evaluated by an independent three-member commission based on objective, clearly defined criteria that were previously available to the proposers. Members of the Evaluation Commission are prominent experts in the fields of agriculture, rural development, nature protection, or civil sector development and organizational development.

The selected projects cover a wide range of topics such as consumer protection, water resource management policies, organic agriculture, health and welfare of farm animals, national and local financing of agriculture, protection of traditional agricultural areas and others.

The total fund for strengthening CSO capacities for advocacy in the field of sustainable agriculture amounts to more than EUR 300,000 and includes advocacy and organizational development training costs, coaching for drafting project proposals and funding of civil society organizations projects.


* This name is without prejudice to status and in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and the opinion of the International Court of Justice on the declaration of Kosovo's independence.



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